The new Debian Linux 7.0 is now available

The new Debian Linux 7.0 is now available

Summary: After two years of waiting, Debian Linux, one of the most important core Linux distributions, has a new release: Wheezy.

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Debian Linux doesn't get all the attention it once did, but as the foundation for other, more popular Linux distributions, such as Mint and Ubuntu, the release of a new major Debian version, 7.0, aka Wheezy, is still a big deal in Linux development circles.

Keep Calm Debian
The 2013 Debian release, Wheezy, is now ready for you to install and run.
(Image: Debian)

The Debian Linux distribution isn't a ground-breaking Linux. If you want a cutting-edge distribution, Fedora Linux is the one for you. After all, Debian 7 uses the over-a-year-old Linux 3.2 kernel as its basis, while Linux 3.9 is the newest release. On the other hand, if what you want is a stable, well-tested distribution, then Debian will fit your needs.

That said, Debian 7.0 boasts many new features, while including many older ones. For example, besides having additional CPU support for the IBM System z mainframe and ARMv7, Debian still supports obsolete architectures as MIPS and PowerPC. If you want to keep an old system running Linux, you should still look at Debian first.

With this update, Debian also supports multiple architectures (multiarch) on the same machine. Typically, you'd use this to support 32-bit and 64-bit programs on the same computer.

That's not to say that Debian doesn't come with up-to-date features. For instance, Debian is cloud friendly. It includes built-in support for OpenStack suite and the Xen Cloud Platform (XCP), allowing you to deploy your own private cloud infrastructure. Debian images are also provided on the major public cloud platforms such as Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, and Google Compute Engine.

In most ways, though, while Debian includes newer software, it usually doesn't support the newest versions. So, while like most Linux distributions, Debian has switched from OpenOffice to LibreOffce for its office suite, Debian is supporting LibreOffice 3.5 instead of the recently released LibreOffice 4.0.

That said, Debian does support the "newish" GNOME 3.4 instead of GNOME 2.x as its primary desktop. It also supports KDE 4.8.4, Xfce 4.8, and LXDE as optional interfaces. Well aware of how controversial the GNOME 3.x shell is, Debian also enables you to get a GNOME 2.30-style interface by selecting the "GNOME Classic" session at the login prompt. You can also then customize it to look and work more like GNOME 2.x by using the hidden alt + right-click combination.

Want to see it for yourself? Debian 7 is now available for download and installation. However, there are currently no live images that will let you try Debian on your PC without installing it. These should be available in the next few days.

In addition, while Debian now supports installation and booting on 64-bit PCs using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), it does not support any installation workaround for Windows 8 PC's Secure Boot. Thus, to install Debian on a PC that came with Windows 8 pre-installed, you must disable Secure Boot before booting the system from your PC's UEFI settings menu.

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Topics: Linux, Cloud, Open Source, Operating Systems, Servers, PCs

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  • A bit... outdated

    Could it easily be updated to the newer versions of the packages? I haven't used Debian, so I wouldn't know, but I would hate to be stuck with 3.2 for any large length of time.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Michael Alan Goff...as you said " I haven't used Debian"

      So than how do you come to a conclusion that its "a bit Outdated' if you don't completely understand what it's trying to accomplish in its world?

      Debian 7 will = Stable
      Over and Out
      • Good question

        It is answered in his post, the one you apparently didn't read. It has an outdated Linux kernel, outdated LibreOffice, and so forth. Out of everything you can argue, arguing that it isn't a little outdated isn't one of them.
        Michael Alan Goff
        • Well, if that's "outdated" -- then apply that standard to Windows, too...

          ... because by equal criteria, not only XP and Vista are outdated, but also Windows 7. (and actually, since we are after all comparing to Debian Stable, we should be talking about the Windows SP1 Service Pack versions).

          Ditto Office XP, Office 2003, Office 2007 and Office 2010.

          That's what "outdated" means in context.
          bswiss
          • I'm sorry

            What does this have anything to do with Microsoft?

            They have different methodologies of updating.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Michael Alan Goff....the FACT remains you really don't KNOW anything

            ABOUT what Debian stands for and that was obiviously a fact by your attempt at a reply.

            I did read, but you don't seem to comprehend is that the LibreOffice is the most STABLE version and that is why it was chosen to be included.

            Debian 7 is all about being STABLE ........what can't you comprehend about that fact?
            Over and Out
          • LibreOffice 4.0 is quite stable by now

            But even 3.6 is a more recent version than 3.5 is.

            What can't you comprehend about me asking if I can take a debian installation and get more recent things? Or should I just blindly go with whatever they give me? I didn't think that was what Linux was about.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Original question...

            You can certainly update the packages on a Debian system. You can do this in a number of ways, through a package manager using software sources in, or added to, Debian or using .deb files to install packages. As was nearly (and quite rudely) hinted at earlier, you take a chance that these new updates are not as stable. This is pretty unlikely for packages that are deemed stable and released by their own developers, but possible.

            Even the "stable" packages installed by Debian may still have issues (functionality or security) yet to be found, but they have been well-tested and seem safe. As long as you are using releases that are considered stable by the developers, you shouldn't run into issues. Always be prepared to back up a few steps and remove packages, just in case.

            You should be fine. Good luck. Ignore morons like Over and Out. We aren't all total douches like that. Feel free to experiment and "google" if you notice issues. Someone is likely to have run into it previously, and/or may be able to help sort it out.
            anonymous
          • Over and Out....you never even answered his simple question.

            He asked a simple question and you got all butthurt. Grow up. What Debian stands for has nothing to do with his simple question. Your pitiful attempt at superiority makes you look unintelligent and obtuse. He asked if he could update the packages, what can't you comprehend about that fact?
            anonymous
          • Uhhh...

            Sure...you agree that Debian is outdated like Windows. That's helpful. Moron. Instead of spouting crap, why didn't you man up and answer the original question? Useless prick.
            anonymous
      • Ugh

        Stables does not mean it can't be considered outdated. Actually, it implies that it is very likely that it will be outdated. Good job there, chief.
        anonymous
    • I don't see why not......

      I prefer the Fedora distro, (running 17 now), and I upgraded LibreOffice from 3 to 4 with no issues. I would think that there would not be any issues. You may need to install outside the "repositories" for those.
      linux for me
    • New feature in Wheezy -- backports already integrated into the main repo

      http://lists.debian.org/debian-announce/2013/msg00001.html

      The Debian project is pleased to announce that the backports service for the next stable release Debian 7 (codename "Wheezy") will be part of the main archive. Backports are packages mostly from the testing distribution (and in few cases from unstable too, e.g. security updates) recompiled in a stable environment so that they will run without new libraries (whenever it is possible) on the Debian stable distribution.

      While as for now this service was provided on a separated archive, starting with wheezy-backports the packages will be accessible from the regular pool.

      The users of "Wheezy" will have to add to their sources.list file this entry:

      deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main

      Or, of course, you just could run "testing" or even "sid" (a.k.a. "unstable") as most desktop Debian users do, instead of running "stable" (which is generally used for servers).
      bswiss
      • Thanks for the advice

        Time to get a vm with Debian Sid, I guess?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • One needs to be cautious with Debian's backport packages

        http://backports.debian.org/
        "Backports cannot be tested as extensively as Debian stable, and backports are provided on an as-is basis, with risk of incompatibilities with other components in Debian stable. Use with care!
        "It is therefore recommended to only select single backported packages that fit your needs, and not use all available backports.

        In other word don't install backport packages just because they are available. Instead, install them only if the added features are must have relative to what's available in stable.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • The key point here is that this is not a personal desktop....

      ......it is a set of server based services that is being provided. Stability, security and reliability is of primary importance here, unless you want either a continually broken service, or unless you are happy to hand off a large part of the maintenance, troubleshooting and updating tasks for the server to desktop users as would happen on home or hobbyist user Windows or Mac desktops (this would of course mean one user per virtual computer in order to prevent users messing up other people's stuff, and the possibility that runaway programs resulting from end users acting as sysadmins messing up would incur huge costs).

      If you want to run a custom, frequently updated desktop or desktop server, the best way to do it is to run physical hardware in your corporate office. You could run the apps not requiring frequently updated desktop apps on Google's cloud compute engine at the same time - cloud computing allows exactly this.
      Mah
  • yes you can

    the point of Debian is to be stable. so if you want cutting edge “ out of the box ” you might want something else. However, you can easily edit your repository list to point to Debian testing, which would be more Ubuntu- like, or go with the unstable repositories, aka Debian sid for a rolling distribution.
    deathjazz
  • Stability Counts Big Time

    We need to help people get past the Microsoft mind-set that upgrading is necessary. There are only three kinds of people that need cutting edge anything (in order)... 1) developers, 2) beta testers, and my personal favorite 3) needs new feature, new fix, or new product.
    Having said that... ehem... 95% of everyone else are clearly NOT in one of those categories... period.
    And, the beauty of gnu/linux (whatever version) is that you can upgrade it (after installation, usually way after) as you need to piece by piece without a major hassle... but the truth is that upgrading at all is usually not necessary. Pick a Distro, install it, (debian is fabulous, ask Mint or Ubuntu users) and enjoy for a long long long long time. Debian releases are usually very stable, although their development cycle is longer... they are a little more conservative... and we all win with that strategy.
    What makes debian attractive (for down-stream distro makers too) is the fact that they are well tested and VERY stable. Stability counts for everything, Big Time.
    So, debian 7 is not outdated at all... not even; but it is very stable; think solid.
    Cheers
    marcushh777
    • Microsoft mindset?

      What does Microsoft have to do with patching a system? And the idea that updating Linux is "without a major hassle" is laughable. Most don't patch or update Linux BECAUSE it's a major hassle.
      happyharry_z
      • Sometimes

        Updating usually isn't a problem. Upgrading can be depending on what you are running.
        I upgraded my primary desktop from Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04 with KDE as my shell (not Kubuntu) without a hassle. However, many of my phone systems running Cent-OS I wouldn't dream of touching.
        Teran